Please select your home edition
Edition
WASZP 2020 - Win the 1000th boat - LEADERBOARD

Powered by Nature, Driven by Purpose: SailGP launches Race for the Future

by SailGP 8 Oct 15:00 BST
SailGP launches Race for the Future © SailGP

With a sense of purpose that goes beyond entertainment, SailGP will use its global platform to accelerate change to a cleaner and more inclusive future via a newly launched initiative: Race for the Future.

SailGP - the sport's pinnacle league featuring the world's fastest sail racing - will set a new standard as the first climate positive sports and entertainment property, while delivering actions and innovations that advance the global adoption of clean energy. Underpinning the plan is a diversification of the league, with the goal of immediately progressing gender and racial inclusivity.

Having postponed its second season events due to the pandemic, SailGP is building on the foundations set in year one when it launched a gender-balanced youth and community outreach program - SailGP Inspire - and set the initial goal of winning the race to zero carbon.

SailGP CEO Sir Russell Coutts said: "We have a responsibility and a purpose that goes beyond our compelling entertainment proposition. Sustainable development is paramount to the world's future, and through SailGP, we have a unique platform to accelerate change. Race for the Future takes us from intention to action, with a real ability to effect environmental and social transformation within and outside of the sport.

"Having a zero-carbon footprint and a diverse staff is not enough; we've challenged ourselves to think bigger and broader. These issues go beyond SailGP, beyond the sport and beyond the industry, and we will strongly advocate for the critical adoption of clean energy, while serving as champions of inclusivity."

Race for the Future, Part 1: Environmental

Setting the New Standard

SailGP is the first climate positive sports and entertainment property, going beyond a net zero carbon footprint in all business and event operations. To be climate positive, SailGP will both drastically reduce its carbon output and invest in projects to eliminate more than the remaining emissions, ultimately creating an environmental benefit.

SailGP Sustainability Director Dr. Susie Tomson said: "We are facing a global climate emergency that requires aggressive action. We have to take decisive and ground-breaking measures, leading by example not only in sailing but across the marine and sports industries. Through technology and innovation, we will be able to reduce our impact, and will utilize our events, network, partners and fans to showcase and inspire change."

In setting a new standard for clean event delivery, SailGP will track and verify its carbon emissions through a partnership with One Carbon World, a global resource partner of the UN Climate Neutral Now Initiative.

Three of SailGP's primary activity areas - on the water, onshore and in cities - have been identified to reduce the league's carbon footprint. In each area, SailGP is partnering with like-minded and innovative companies to fully transition to clean energy solutions.

The remaining carbon that cannot be eliminated will be offset through One Carbon World and via the advancement of pioneering blue carbon projects, helping to maintain or restore critical carbon-sequestering shoreline ecosystems around the world. Blue carbon projects will be delivered through a partnership with Worldview International Foundation, starting with planting mangroves to contribute to the charity's ambitious goal of planting a billion trees and mitigating 500 million tons of CO2 from the atmosphere.

On-Water

SailGP's F50 race boats are one of the best showcases of clean energy in the world - they harness the power of the wind, traveling at 3-4 times its speed.

A key project to ensure both the race and support boats are powered by nature is reducing the carbon impact of the support boats - necessary to safely manage SailGP racing. Working in partnership with ePropulsion, a leading innovator of portable electric outboard boat motors, SailGP will transition 11 boats to ePropulsion motors for the start of Season 2.

SailGP has also partnered with Evoy, an innovative Norwegian company providing high-output electric propulsion systems for boats, to find a solution for the electrification of the league's high-speed chase boats. Through a 'pilot partnership,' an initial boat will be upgraded to test at the first European event in Season 2 and, if successful, a plan will be implemented to transition the remainder of the boats to electric engines.

The overall goal is to have a fully electric support boat fleet by 2025 - removing the equivalent of 175 cars from the road - and helping to lead a clean energy revolution in the marine industry.

Onshore

On the shore, SailGP is shifting from technologies based on fossil fuels to 100 percent renewable power by 2025. At the core of the project will be temporary event power supplied by generators using clean fuel.

Though the race boats are inherently powered by nature, they require batteries to run the electronics and store power during racing, so it is essential that once onshore, these are recharged using clean energy. To meet the goal of the race boats being fully powered by nature, a new mobile off-grid solar solution was implemented in Season 1, working in partnership with Tesla and using a Tesla Powerwall system. SailGP will work to expand the initiative to power additional elements of its technical boat operations, including the electric outboard motors that will be used by the support boat fleet.

Another key onshore project is looking at the circularity in the production of the race boats. A partnership with ELG Carbon Fibre - the world's first carbon fiber recovery plant based in the UK - will allow waste carbon fiber from the F50s to be recycled and reintroduced into the manufacturing process for the evolution of the race boat in future seasons, ensuring a responsible and reduced carbon manufacturing process. This will be a vital step in addressing the issue of global carbon consumption and raising awareness of closed loop recycling within the marine industry and beyond.

In Cities

Another new development for 2021, each of the eight national teams competing in SailGP will race with purpose. Every team will sign a Race for the Future charitable partner in their market, not only offering valuable commercial space on the boat to raise awareness for the partners' causes, but also to secure funding for their partner through race results. The teams will work with their partners on projects that align with SailGP's sustainability efforts.

New Zealand SailGP Team co-CEO Blair Tuke said: "SailGP's global platform is a massive opportunity to accelerate change and shine the light on key issues facing our environment. Our partner Live Ocean will help raise awareness for the protection and restoration of our oceans, which are one of our best defenses against climate change. It's really exciting that as a league we can bring focus on the urgent need for change using Race for the Future."

Accelerating Change

SailGP will deliver actions and innovations that accelerate the global adoption of clean energy by investing in clean technology, serving as a collaborative innovation lab and inspiring action.

Clean Tech

SailGP will invest in clean technology solutions through both SailGP's own research and design capabilities, and with the creation of a start-up investment fund. The aim will be to develop, test and bring to market new sustainable innovations that have broader applicability beyond the marine industry, as well as allow the league to reinvest in projects that nurture and protect the environment where SailGP races.

The first project is with E1 - the new electric powerboat series that was launched last month. SailGP is engineering and developing the initial race boat concept, which will allow the league to continue its push toward sustainable innovation and help drive forward the electrification of the marine industry.

Innovation Lab

The global championship will serve as an innovation lab and bring together partners, stakeholders, thought leaders and change makers to collaborate and facilitate advances in clean tech innovations. SailGP events will become the ultimate showcase, and through demonstrations, forums and interactive sessions, bring together innovators to shape the future of clean technology and marine sustainability.

Inspire Action

From grassroots youth programs to consumer campaigns, SailGP will look to inspire action among its audiences, partners and fans. Using its global events, social, digital and broadcast platforms, SailGP will create clean energy advocates of the future. In addition, 10,000 young people will be educated about sustainability through SailGP Inspire in event host cities.

ROCKWOOL Group CEO Jens Birgersson said: "Sustainability is at the heart of our business at ROCKWOOL Group, and SailGP provides us a global platform to raise awareness, showcase sustainable solutions and share our optimism around today's sustainability challenges, especially in urban environments. We believe that a more sustainable future is possible, and that, together, we can accelerate change, drive innovation, and inspire current and future generations to take action."

Race for the Future, Part 2 will be released on October 20 with details regarding female athlete inclusion in the league for Season 2, as well as robust initiatives to fully integrate diversity, equity and inclusion in every part of the business.

Related Articles

Bermuda & Italy to host first SailGP events
Updated schedule for the first half of the second season released today SailGP today announced an updated schedule for the first half of its second season, with the opening events now set for the island of Bermuda and the southern Italian city of Taranto. Posted on 23 Nov
SailGP closes out successful first year in Esports
eSailGP attracts 146,000 players, amasses 753,000 views & sees launch of new-look eSailGP show With the conclusion of SailGP's maiden esports season - during which the first eSailGP champion was crowned more than 146,000 unique players participated & 55,783 individual races took place - the global championship announced new plans for eSailGP season Posted on 6 Nov
SailGP diversity, equity and inclusion initiative
Launched as part of Race for the Future Following the announcement of its Race for the Future purpose-led agenda aimed at accelerating change to a cleaner and more inclusive future, SailGP today rolled out its first major diversity, equity and inclusion initiative. Posted on 23 Oct
SailGP gives behind-the-scenes access
'SailGP: Racing on the Edge' shines a light on world's fastest sail racing league In a new content series launched today by SailGP, audiences around the globe will get unprecedented access to the sport's pinnacle league as it gears up toward its second season, launching April 2021 in San Francisco. Posted on 16 Sep
Aarhus selected to host fourth SailGP event
ROCKWOOL to serve as Title Partner for global league's first event in Scandinavia SailGP today announced the selection of the Danish city of Aarhus to host the fourth event in the global championship's second season. ROCKWOOL will serve as Title Partner for SailGP's Scandinavian debut Posted on 13 Sep
Britain's Ocean City selected to host SailGP
Annual pinnacle of sail racing to stop in Plymouth, Devon in 2021 Following the season opener in San Francisco in April and New York SailGP in June, the championship will return to UK shores for the third event in Season 2, featuring the world's fastest sail racing. Posted on 4 Sep
SailGP makes its Hollywood debut
F50s feature in Christopher Nolan's new blockbuster 'Tenet' SailGP makes its Hollywood debut today when two F50s - the world's fastest and most technologically advanced sail race boats - take a starring role in the summer's big blockbuster Tenet, a new sci-fi spy thriller by acclaimed director Christopher Nolan. Posted on 26 Aug
First ever eSailGP Champion crowned
Seven months of hard fought virtual battles came down to just five minutes to decide the Champion British eSailor O'Donovan caused upset when he beat one of the pre-race favorites, Spain SailGP Team member Cardona, to not only win the inaugural championship title but also a ride on an F50 in real-life. Posted on 15 Aug
Final field set for eSailGP Grand Final
GRE-9 wins Cowes eSailGP to claim final place in live final showdown, August 14 The stage is set for the inaugural eSailGP Grand Final. In less than 24 hours, eight fierce competitors - representing five nations - will go head-to-head on the virtual waters of New York to win ultimate eSailing bragging rights Posted on 14 Aug
SailGP announces addition of New Zealand team
Peter Burling and Blair Tuke join the league's second season Olympic gold medalists and defending America's Cup champions Peter Burling and Blair Tuke will join SailGP starting in the league's second season as part of the newly formed New Zealand SailGP Team. Posted on 6 Aug